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Optimum Performance Institute

Young Adult Program

Optimum Performance Institute Program Information

Gender: Coeducational
Ages: 17 - 25
Grades: 6 - 12
Estimated Enrollment: 5-6 per townhouse
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 2004
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Optimum Performance Institute Contact Information

5855 Topanga Canyon Blvd #320
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Phone: (888) 558-0617
Fax: (805) 969-1642
School Contact: Anne LaRiviere
Alternative Contact: Robert Fischer, MD
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

The Optimum Performance Institute is for young adults ages 17 – 25 who are willing to commit to finding a sense of balance in their life and their places as a responsible member of society either by completing high school, junior college or university or gaining employment skills.

What is the Optimum Performance Institute?

OPI is a small, highly individualized, co-ed transitional program for young adults ages 17-25 who are progressing through our therapeutic, educational, recreational and recovery curriculum in order to find balance in their lives and their place as responsible members of society.

Who are OPI Participants?

Participants come to OPI from primary treatment, wilderness or therapeutic programs or from their homes or university: All need a structured, supportive environment as they complete their high school or college and/or get a job, gain independent living skills and begin to establish their own identity and purpose in the world.

Our Participants may have one or more unique challenges. They may be unsuccessful in persevering in the academic and/or work worlds. They might be unable to individuate or leave home. They may struggle with anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, ADHD, bipolar disorder, OCD, Asperger Syndrome, drug/alcohol or other issues: We do not accept Young Adults who used intravenous opiates or who have Borderline Personality Disorder.

What key components set us apart from other programs?

At OPI we understand young adults must know they are Progressing, not Regressing, and that it’s possible to develop a Passion in life. Simultaneously they require appropriate individualized structure, continuum of care and compassionate support as they gain independence.

PARTICIPANTS go to school, get a job or both:
At OPI, our Participants can graduate from high school, get a GED or attend one of many local colleges or universities. They can enroll in a local culinary or fashion institute, attend Acting or a Musicians school or learn a trade. They are employed throughout our community.

EVERY PARTICIPANT’S SCHEDULE: Every Young Adult has a schedule that combines their personal goals with our comprehensive schedule of therapy and activities (see OPI’s Unique Structure):

Therapy: We believe moving forward in the real world requires patience, tolerance and compassion for ourselves and others. Participants develop this understanding in group therapy (required) and individual therapy (recommended). We provide all transportation: Sometimes the best therapy takes place casually, in our milieu or recreational activities with OPI’s highly skilled staff of Independent Living Specialists

Substance Abuse groups (if appropriate): Participants must be clean/sober for at least 30 days before arriving. But they still need support as they learn to live in a sober environment. They attend special groups within OPI as well as community-based and/or OPI-based 12-step meetings. There is random drug testing.

Additional Specialized/Individualized Care: Sometimes a young adult needs a personal staff with them for a short, defined period of time to focus on specific objectives. This is available in the form of our Individualized Life Coaches.

Volunteer (optional) and Community Service (required once/month): Community service activities can range from serving food at homeless shelters to beach clean-up. Our Participants volunteer everywhere from animal shelters to libraries.

OPI’S LIVING SITUATION: OPI’s 6-month commitment begins in lovely Phase I apartments that are staffed 24/7. Here Participants start the systematic process of working on individual goals/objectives.In about 3 months, after discussions among Participant, treatment team and parents, Participants may move to Phase II. Here there is a systematic and structured decrease in supervision while they work on specified objectives. Continuum of care remains paramount. We still provide transportation. They can remain in groups and activities.

After 6 months they may continue in Phase II or move into OPI’s AfterCare where they remain close but become more independent in their own apartments If they move into Outpatient Therapy we continue to monitor their goals and objectives. And for those who leave, who have been accepted at colleges closer to home, friendships made here will last a lifetime.

OPI’S THERAPEUTIC TEAM includes seasoned professionals including Robert F. Fischer, M.D., executive director; Jeff Kestenbaum, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services; Martin Cisneros, Director of Chemical Dependency Services and other therapists & psychiatrists. With nearly a century of combined experience, their abilities are unrivaled.


About 45 minutes between Los Angeles and Malibu is Woodland Hills. We located here because there are so many opportunities from education and jobs to vocational and recreational. We use all of it to create a springboard for each Young Adult in order to help them move forward in their lives!

What OPI Provides

Room & Board in a beautiful apartment complex

Individualized Emotional, Educational, and Career Development plans developed conjointly with participants

Work experiences in a diversity of fields

Two psycho-dynamically oriented counseling groups per week

Special counseling groups designed to assist with social skills development (if indicated)

Apartment/Milieu counseling groups

Supportive and compassionate staff. Members are involved with participants 24/7.

Supportive Milieu of peers

Parental contact with OPI that may include weekly updates if indicated

Updates for Educational Consultants when indicated

A comprehensive Substance Abuse Program (when indicated) including:

Individualized and group substance abuse counseling

Attendance at 12-step meetings and programs such as ALANON, CODA, or ACA

Two Substance Abuse meetings held in OPI apartments: one based on a 12-step model, another more social and individually focused.

Random drug testing with frequency individually determined

OPI also:

Helps Participants decide what school to attend and what classes to take

Participants may attend a variety of schools in the area such as Cal State Northridge, Pierce Junior College, Moorpark College, Cal Lutheran, UCLA or UCLA Extension, Santa Monica City College, Los Angeles Film School, or The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM).

Participants may also take lessons at Playhouse West, Musician's Institute, and Westlake Culinary Institute.

Helps Participants find a job (if appropriate)

Provides transportation to and from all jobs, appointments, classes, etc.

Provides mentors/role models (if appropriate): These are successful and creative adults in fields participants express an interest in experiencing and/or learning more about.

Provides weekly activities designed to expose participants to a wide variety of educational, cultural, and recreational activities and experiences

Provides Volunteer opportunities

Specialized services that are available for an additional fee include:

Individual psychotherapy

Psychopharmacological medication management

Specialized individual educational remedial help

Individual instruction in music and the arts

Access to fitness training

Access to martial arts training

Access to yoga training

*Fees charged by individual therapists, educational institutions and instuctors are extra.

Phase One: (Supervisory Stage)

Everything mentioned above plus Participants:
Live under the supervision of an Independent Living Specialist (ILS)

Receive educational support

Receive instruction in Independent Living Skills

Volunteer in the Woodland Hills area if appropriate

Meet daily with staff to learn to set weekly goals, schedules and budgets

Phase Two:

Everything available in Phase One, but requirements to attend structured and group activities are gradually reduced depending on the participant’s progress. Our goal is to help young adults learn to make skillful choices and progress into finding their way in the real world.

Participants meet with ILS staff weekly or more if indicated to review goals, weekly schedules, and budgets.

Participants must still:

Attend two psycho-dynamically oriented groups per week

Attend the Apartment/Milieu counseling groups

Attend two outings per month with the additional OPI activities and experiences available

Maintain supportive relationships with the OPI staff, mentors, graduates, and current participants

OPI After Care:

Participants in the OPI After Care Program live in their own apartments nearby and continue to be active members of the OPI community and network. They have on-going access to and supervision from all OPI staff and the Program Director. They attend OPI community activities, outings, and experiences, and receive continued peer and staff support.
After Care Participants:
Attend OPI group counseling sessions twice per week

Attend OPI mandated outings/activities

Meet weekly with the Program Director or designee

Have site visits by ILS staff and receive help with meal planning, budgets, grocery shopping, etc.

Receive advice from OPI staff and administration on how to rent and furnish their own apartment

After completion of the program, OPI encourages former participants to continue to attend OPI groups and maintain supportive relationships with OPI staff, mentors and former graduates.

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